Three-part Dogs for Special Use (Tokuyô muki inu no sanwari): Three Dogs Look LIke Nine, Two Dogs Look like Four (Sanbiki no inu kyûhiki ni mieru, nihiki no inu yonhiki ni miyuru)

「徳用向犬の三わり 三びきの犬九ひきにみへる 二ひきのいぬ四ひきのみゆる」

Japanese
Edo period
1847–52 (Kôka 4–Kaei 5)
Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797–1861)


Catalogue Raisonné

Salter, Japanese Popular Prints (2006), p. 139, fig. 146; Inagaki, Edo no asobi-e (1988), #55

Dimensions

Vertical ôban; 37 x 25 cm (14 9/16 x 9 13/16 in.)

Accession Number

11.36718

Medium or Technique

Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper

Not On View

Collections

Asia, Prints and Drawings

Classifications

Prints

A fortune-teller’s table is overturned by fighting street dogs. The dogs are drawn as composites, with one head connected to two or three bodies, so that counting the dogs becomes a puzzle.

Signed

Ichiyûsai Kuniyoshi giga

一勇斎国芳戯画

Markings

Censors' seals: Muramatsu, Yoshimura
No blockcutter's mark
No publisher's mark
Artist's seal: kiri

改印:村松、吉村
彫師:なし

Provenance

By 1911, purchased by William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850–d. 1926), Boston [see note 1]; 1911, gift of Bigelow to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 19, 2005)

NOTES:
[1] Much of Bigelow's collection of Asian art was formed during his residence in Japan between 1882 and 1889, although he also made acquisitions in Europe and the United States. Bigelow deposited many of these objects at the MFA in 1890 before donating them to the Museum's collection at later dates.

Credit Line

William Sturgis Bigelow Collection